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Corporate Strategies During an Economic Crisis: Cases of Micro and Small Italian Ceramic Enterprises
Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Marketing.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Extensive research has previously been conducted in the field of corporate strategies during economic crisis, analyzing different contexts and countries. Nevertheless, the main focus has always been on small and medium enterprises without considering the importance that micro enterprises have in the European business tradition. The research gap for this study has been identified concerning Italian micro and small enterprises which, despite the importance of these kinds of companies in the national scenario, have not been considered yet. A literature review on this area highlighted the status of the research within the field, identifying the research gap and the purpose of this dissertation. The purpose is to contribute the research by understanding which is the relationship between strategies and performance with special attention on micro and small enterprises, aiming to formulate a guideline that may be followed by other enterprises dealing with such situation. The study was performed through a qualitative investigation based on semi-structured interviews with twenty companies which are part of a ceramic district in the north-east of Italy. More in detail, fourteen of the respondents are owners or CEOs of companies that survived the crisis while six interviews have been held with former owners of enterprises that did not survive. The research strategy used is a multiple case study with inductive approach. The data shows how firms adopted different strategies to survive the crisis, highlighting a considerable difference between the enterprises that survived and the ones that did not. Moreover, a further difference can be identified between the companies that survived but have been able to grow during the economic crisis and the ones that experienced a stable performance or a fall. The findings of the study shows how a combination between product innovation, marketing, internationalization and an open flexible approach is what is needed in order to reach superior performance during a crisis, transforming a threat into opportunity. The role of the leader seems to be the boost of every enterprise defining the success of the business. However, it is still not clear how the personality of the entrepreneur is related to company’s performance, thus this area needs to be developed through further research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 83 p.
Keyword [en]
MSE, corporate strategy, economic crisis, organizational performance
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-43802DOI: 001.gc222/dissOAI: diva2:818418
Subject / course
Business Administration - Marketing
Educational program
Marketing, Master Programme, 120 credits
2015-06-01, Växjö, 09:15 (English)
Available from: 2015-06-10 Created: 2015-06-08 Last updated: 2015-06-10Bibliographically approved

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